Friday, July 23, 2010

Guess Where We Went?

We spent a few days this week in St. Louis.  I had been through there several times as a teen, and had even gone up in the Arch once, and when we went looking for places within a day's drive, we thought it looked interesting.

We drove Saturday and found that we didn't have the reservation we thought we did---and unfortunately that hotel and most others were booked.  Luckily we found a place that could accommodate us for one night, and the place we wanted was available thereafter.

Sunday morning, at the recommendation of my college friend Ellen, we headed to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for mass.  Isn't it gorgeous?

From the Cathedral, we headed over to Forest Park to explore.  A wonderful thing about St. Louis is that many of their attractions have free admission--and they don't knick you to death with garbage fees either.  We spent Sunday afternoon at the St. Louis History Museum.  After eating in their restaurant (convenient, expensive for what we got, but not bad) we toured exhibits about local history, including the Cardinals.  We learned about Lindberg's flight, the St. Louis World's Fair and more.  Since the kids were ready to go, we skipped The Treasures of the Vatican exhibit, which I would have enjoyed, but admission was steep ($20/each) and so we passed.  

Monday morning we headed for the Arch (or as it is formally known, the Jefferson Monument to Western Expansion). We got there early, so we did not have to wait too long for a trip to the top.  That trip takes about four minutes and you ride in a cozy capsule that seats 5.  When you get to the top, the floor is rounded (it is an arch after all) and you can look out some small observation windows.  The view is great.

After visiting the museum at the Arch, we waked down to the river to board a riverboat for the local tour.  It was interesting comparing their riverfront with ours.

As we left the Arch it began to rain (it rained every day we were there) and so we headed for an indoor attraction, the Science Museum, which has no admission fee.  This is a kid-oriented place though they had exhibits on aircraft and space flights which were more suitable for older teens and adults.  Here my little one works with other kids to build a structure.

Tuesday we decided to give the zoo a try.  We landed a free parking space not too far from the pay lot and headed in.  Of course it started to rain.  We weren't familiar with the zoo, and didn't realize that there were lots of indoor exhibits so after we got tired of the rain, we left without seeing much; hoping to return later if the weather cleared up.  It did, but by that time, the parking spots were taken so we coughed up our parking fee and headed into the zoo, where we discovered that we had been right around the corner from a couple of very nice indoor exhibits.  We enjoyed the zoo, and in comparing it to our own Audubon Zoo, we said we loved the flowers that were everywhere (by this time most of the flowers in New Orleans are done flowering) and thought the individual exhibits were very well done.  However, it seemed like you had to walk long distances to see few animals.  

Wednesday we headed for Six Flags and the camera stayed home.  Everyone had a great time and no one got sunburned too badly so I consider the day a success.  Wednesday night my husband and I had dinner with one of my best friends from college.  She wouldn't let me take a picture--though I don't know why, she'd hardly changed a bit--well, no more than I have.  It was fun seeing her and her husband again.


  1. We used to go to St Louis Zoo all the time when we lived on 23 min away over the river. I remember even going in the winter and popping in/out of indoor exhibits. Guess you missed the brewery tour, Grants Farm was also free --- of course back then my eldest child was 5 yo. Across the river in IL is Cahokia Mounds

  2. I saw the mounds as a kid, and our original plan (that didn't account for rain) was to spend a day driving through several places in IL, including the mounds, and a long stop at a water park. However, our Six Flags visit got pushed back due to rain, and we didn't want to go driving the day before we drove home.

  3. Soooo close. I am only five hours from St. Louis. Thanks for the ideas though. We haven't been as tourists- only passed through.
    Do love the arch.
    Know I am almost home when I get there.

  4. The Basilica looks absolutely stunning. And the view from the top of the Arch: Breathtaking!

  5. Hi RAnn. St. Louis is my birthplace and I spent many years there. Love Forest Park and the zoo and everything else you mentioned. St. Louis Cathedral is indeed gorgeous. St. Francis de Sales off Jefferson and at Ohio is called the cathedral of south St. Louis and is a landmark building. If you get another chance to visit, be sure to see that, too. Glad you had such fun. Too bad about the rain, though. In May Roger and I went to the Museum of History to see the Vatican exhibit and loved it.

  6. You know, I have driven past that arch on a number of trips, but I have never taken the time to go into St. Louis. I see that I have missed out on some interesting things.


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